"We all believed in him.'' Sunday's 33-13 win over Jacksonville enabled the Bears to clinch their first NFC Central Division title since 1990.
"He's got us to this point and now we've just got to keep on going, baby,'' Brown said. "It's not over yet. It's not finished.''
* SWAN SONG: Veteran Walt Harris did not play Sunday, giving way to Jerry Azumah at left cornerback. Harris becomes a free agent after the season while Azumah recently signed a five-year deal and is considered the Bears' cornerback of the future.
Harris was a first-round draft pick in 1996. Azumah, who rushed for a national Division I-AA career record 6,193 yards at New Hampshire, was chosen in the fifth round in '99.
A starter much of this season, Harris had 70 tackles (47 solos), one interception and two fumble recoveries. Azumah, as a backup, came into Sunday's game with 50 tackles (35 solo), two sacks and one fumble recovery.
* TURNING THE CORNER: So where does the Bears' one-year turnaround rank in NFL history? It's pretty good, but far from the league record set by the Indianapolis Colts. They went from a three-win season in 1998 to 13 victories in '99.
The Bears won five games last season before improving to 13-3 this campaign -- only the fourth time in franchise history they've reached that number and the first since 1986.
* CAT AND MOUSE: James "Big Cat'' Williams' block of Mike Hollis' 36-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter was Williams' second this season and the eighth of his 11-year NFL career.
* ROLE MODELS: Good teams have capable supporting casts and the Bears certainly aren't lacking in that area.
Among the backups who shined in Sunday's 33-13 rout of Jacksonville were: defensive tackle Alfonso Boone (10-yard sack), wide receivers D'Wayne Bates (4 catches, 50 yards) and Ahmad Merritt (2 catches, 20 yards), and cornerback Jerry Azumah (14-yard interception return).
"It's a weird game. You only get a window of opportunity,'' Bates said. "And I told myself that once I get out there, I'm going to contribute.
"I'm just trying to make a difference, whether it's on special teams or at receiver.''